Wanted by Delhi Police for instigating violence during the farmers’ tractor rally at Red Fort on Republic Day, gangster-turned-social activist Lakhbir Singh, alias Lakha Sidhana, has called a rally in support of the farm agitation in Bathinda district’s Mehraj, the ancestral village of chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, on February 23.
In a Facebook video posted on Friday night, Sidhana urged people to gather in large numbers at the grain market in Mehraj, 35 km from the Bathinda district headquarters.
He said farm union leaders should also stay united against the Centre to strengthen the fight against the three farm laws.
Gangster hints at joining Mehraj rally on Tuesday
A native of Sidhana village in Bathinda district, Lakha is on the run since January 26 and has hinted that he will join the rally on his home turf.
Delhi Police had on February 14 announced a reward of ₹1 lakh for information on the whereabouts of Sidhana. Various teams of Delhi Police, along with the special cell, had conducted searches for the gangster across Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR.
Sidhana was last seen in Punjab when he had visited Moga on January 20 to garner support for the tractor rally on Republic Day.
Bathinda range inspector general of police Jaskaran Singh said the district police have not received any communication about Sidhana. “I have learnt that a rally has been planned at Mehraj. It’s up to Delhi Police to arrest him, but the Bathinda police have hardly any role in it,” the IGP said.
The 13-minute video appears to have been shot in a tent. Though there is no confirmation on when it was shot, Sidhana starts by congratulating supporters on ‘Maa Boli’ Day or International Mother Language Day that falls on February 21.
Charged with murder, dabbled in politics
Mehraj is a part of the Rampura Phul assembly segment from where Sidhana had unsuccessfully contested as a candidate of the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) in 2012. The PPP was floated by state finance minister and Bathinda MLA Manpreet Singh Badal and later merged in the Congress.
Sidhana was booked for murder, attempt to murder, loot and violation of the Arms Act. He was jailed several times between 2004 and 2017. During this duration, he also came in contact with politicians.